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  • The Match Factory Girl

    The Match Factory Girl

    ★★★★½

    A simple and precisely constructed character study that begins showing the entire process of making a match from the trunk of a tree to the matches in the boxes. The sequence is the template for the film which shows how a woman who is unhappy with her life takes a series of steps that are shocking, but logical to change her life around. A remarkable a achievement as the carefully constructed scenes establish her character and life to provide the context what she does. Kaurismäki is the master of understatement and this film is a stunning achievement.

  • Beach Rats

    Beach Rats

    ★★★★½

    Shot in a casual and impressionistic style with a documentary feel, Beach Rats is a coming of age story about a young man in Brooklyn who is figuring out who he is within the context of his friends and family. Stunningly filmed by Hélène Louvart and directed with sensitivity by Eliza Hittman, it's a film that allows us to see parts of his life in a way that doesn't judge or try to impose a narrative on it. It's observational and fascinating to watch this young man balance the expectations placed upon him as he thinks about the person that he wants to be.

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  • Carol

    Carol

    ★★★★★

    Visually stunning with a 50s sensibility and pitch perfect performances, direction, and writing that make the film feel like it was made in the 50s. Assured and confident, it creates an immersive world surrounding memorable characters and allows us to spend time with them. Superb filmmaking that shows what is possible with skill and confidence.

  • It Follows

    It Follows

    ★★★★½

    It Follows take a similar approach to David Robert Mitchell's earlier The Myth of the American Sleepover in creating a film that is generally set in the 80s without ever explicitly stating it and reworking teen drama. With It Follows it is almost like Kubrick directed a teen horror film in the 80s. There are visual echoes of The Shining and the score is a full 80s synth feeling. Overall this forms a neat dissonance with the distinctly controlled framing…